Beta testing: the rehearsal before showcasing your app to the world. The beta testing phase is a critical one in your app’s life cycle and you need to make the most of it. Finding beta testers is an integral part of this process. You need them to test your app in every possible way to make sure that you weed out all the hidden corner case bugs. But where can you find these beta users and how many of them would be willing to try out your app? We’ll tell you where you can find these users and, lucky for you, there are tons of early adopters out there who would love to try out your app -- and for free!
A very important question that depends on the size and scope of your application. This number largely depends on the number of features and demographic characteristics of the app and its users (Beta Testing Guide). To be on the safe side, you’ll need between 100-300 beta testers to make sure your users go through all the use cases necessary to ensure your app is clean.
We’ve done the hard work for you and compiled a list of sources -- use them!
A great way to get feedback on your product is to put it in front of a bunch of people who have already expressed a desired interested in a specific domain. You can leverage various forums and social media as platforms for displaying your product. However, you need to remember you should be a part of their community or else you will be perceived as a spammer or even worse: an advertiser.
1. Hacker News
By far the biggest online grouping of tech enthusiasts in the Internet universe is Hacker News. If you’re looking for honest and brutal feedback, you won’t find a better place. This is where the smartest and most influential people in the tech world hang out, so it’s still definitely worth it because if you make it on HN, you’ve basically made it in life. Just don’t ever forget to follow the rules!
You may not think they have the most enjoyable user interface but they do have a passionate and extremely involved community. Just like HN, Reddit has its own dedicated community and usually welcomes those with karma with an open heart. The good thing about Reddit is that you’ll find a subreddit for literally EVERYTHING so make sure you target the right ones and make your post count. Check out our subreddit suggestions for startups and mobile apps and have a look at the Reddit rules while you’re at it:
3. Product Hunt
You will be hard pressed to find a more engaging platform than Product Hunt with such a passionate following and community. The world's best and brightest product managers and tech lovers constantly stay up to date with Product Hunt to get a feel of what is going on in the tech world. Making a splash on Product Hunt would bring you a vast number of users who would be eager to use your app.
4. Beta Directories
Another great way to get your idea out there is sharing it on a beta directory to attract passionate techies and early adopters. The downside is that these users are more curious than loyal and probably won’t be sticking around for too long. Since they’ve signed up to receive all kinds of beta products, they end up not being the most engaged. You’ll still end up with a bunch of beta testers and your SEO will benefit from the links these directories will provide. Here’s a list of the best beta directories you’ll find to get your beta users:
5. Startup Directories
If you’re confident in your product and you’re ready to get even more users, I encourage you to list your startup in any of the popular startup directories that publish frequent reviews on the hottest apps and startups. Tons of early adopters and tech lovers follow and subscribe to these sites, so you’re bound to attract their attention. The best products will always get significant traction and conversions. Here’s a list of the startup directories we think will help you get the most beta users:
Quora is one of those places with a fast-growing community that can have a very positive impact on your app’s success. The catch is that you’ll need to build up your own community by demonstrating expertise in a specific niche. Show your genuine care and passion for your domain by offering your insights on various threads within your niche. This will pay dividends and people will eventually be willing to help you in return with your own app or startup.
Nobody will be more willing to try out your app more than those who already hate your competitor. Hunt for them, find them, and show them. You will find that unhappy users are your friends.
Here’s a list of hashtags that could be useful to you:
Let’s be real here: No app or startup grows without some true grit and hustle. Leverage social media to attract beta testers to your app. Don't be afraid to try your own methods and see what works for you. Try Facebook groups, Twitter hashtags relevant to your product, follow relevant Twitter lists, try Pinterest, use your alma matter or high school if that could be useful. Don’t leave any stone unturned.
Get as much customer feedback as you can from all your beta users and make sure it's in-app feedback! Don’t forget about your customer experience or about keeping them engaged.